Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Regional Drought Update Date
May 14, 2021
Site Section
Drought Status Update

Drought Early Warning Update for the Northeast


DEWS Regions:
Update Status:

NIDIS and its partners will issue future drought early warning updates as conditions evolve.

Rain relief: How long will it last?

For more details, see the Northeast Drought Early Warning System Dashboard.

Key Points

  • Moderate Drought (D1) was reduced to a few small areas in northern New York and in the Connecticut River Valley in New Hampshire and Vermont.
  • Abnormally Dry conditions (D0) formed a patchwork pattern across the region. Only the southernmost New England states of Connecticut and Rhode Island were free of dryness.
  • Some locations in the region have seen very little springtime snow. Boston, Concord, and Portland have recorded less than an inch since March 1.
Current Conditions
U.S. Drought Monitor Conditions: Northeast | May 11, 2021

Current U.S. Drought Monitor map for the Northeast Drought Early Warning System (DEWS) with data valid for May 11, 2021. The U.S. Drought Monitor is updated each Thursday to show the location and intensity of drought across the country. 

According to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor:

  • Moderate drought (D1) conditions exist in 3.7% of the region.
  • Abnormally dry (D0) conditions exist in 31.4% of the region.

U.S. Drought Monitor Categories

The color with the hex code #ffff00 identifies:
D0 - Abnormally Dry
The color with the hex code #ffcc99 identifies:
D1 - Moderate Drought
The color with the hex code #f5ad3d identifies:
D2 - Severe Drought
The color with the hex code #ff0000 identifies:
D3 - Extreme Drought
The color with the hex code #660000 identifies:
D4 - Exceptional Drought
Main Stats
31.4%
of the Northeast DEWS is experiencing Abnormally Dry (D0) conditions
3.7%
of the Northeast DEWS is experiencing Moderate Drought (D1)

Current Conditions

7-Day Average Streamflows

Streamflows are above average for most of the Northeast except for Maine and northern Vermont.

7-day streamflow conditions across the Northeast through May 14, 2021. Streamflow levels are normal to above-normal for most of the Northeast, except parts of Maine, northern Vermont, New Jersey, and eastern Pennsylvania.
7-day average streamflow conditions across the Northeast. Source: USGS Water Watch via the Northeast DEWS Dashboard.

Annual Precipitation Departure from Normal

Much of the Northeast was experiencing a downward trend of precipitation departure in 2021 that has somewhat moderated in the last few weeks.

Graph showing accumulated precipitation departure from normal for Burlington Area, VT, Providence Area, RI, and Concord Area, NH. The Northeast's downward trend of precipitation departure has somewhat moderated in the past few weeks.
Year to date departure from normal precipitation for the Concord Area, NH (blue), Providence Area, RI (black), and Burlington Area, VT (green). Source: ACIS.

State-Reported Impacts

Rhode Island

  • As of Thursday, May 13th, the Scituate Rhode Island Reservoir was just over 105% capacity.
  • Currently, USGS Groundwater monitoring wells in the state were normal to just above normal.

Sign Up for Local Drought Alerts

Get an email notification when the U.S. Drought Monitor category changes for your location.

Sign Up for Alerts

Outlooks

  • The 8-14 day maps indicate above-normal temperatures for New York into western Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut and normal temperatures for the rest of the region. Below-normal precipitation is predicted for the entire Northeast.
  • The 3-4 week outlook favors above-normal temperatures and below-normal precipitation in the Northeast.

8-14 Day Temperature Outlook

Climate Prediction Center 8-14 day temperature outlook for the Northeast, as of May 14, 2021. Odds favor above-normal temperatures actoss New York and into western Vermont, Massachusetts, and Conencticut.
NOAA Climate Prediction Center 8-14 day temperature outlook for the Northeast, showing the probability of above-normal, below-normal, or normal conditions from May 21-27, 2021. Source: Climate Prediction Center.

8-14 Day Precipitation Outlook

Climate Prediction Center 8-14 day precipitation outlook for the Northeast, as of May 14, 2021. Odds favor below-normal precipitation across the region.
NOAA Climate Prediction Center 8-14 day precipitation outlook for the Northeast, showing the probability of above-normal, below-normal, or normal conditions from May 21-27, 2021. Source: Climate Prediction Center.

3-4 Week Temperature Outlook

Climate Prediction Center 3-4 week temperature outlook, valid for May 22 - June 4, 2021. Odds favor above-normal temperatures across the region.
NOAA Climate Prediction Center 3-4 week temperature outlook for the Northeast, showing the probability of above-normal, below-normal, or normal conditions from May 22-June 4, 2021. Source: Climate Prediction Center.

3-4 Week Precipitation Outlook 

Climate Prediction Center 3-4 week precipitation outlook, valid for May 22 - June 4, 2021. Odds favor below-normal precipitation across the region.
NOAA Climate Prediction Center 3-4 week precipitation outlook for the Northeast, showing the probability of above-normal, below-normal, or normal conditions from May 22-June 4, 2021. Source: Climate Prediction Center.

Additional Resources

Contacts for More Information

Sylvia Reeves
Regional Drought Information Coordinator (Northeast DEWS)
NOAA/CIRES/National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS)
Email: sylvia.reeves@noaa.gov

Ellen L. Mecray
Regional Climate Services Director, Eastern Region
NOAA/NESDIS/National Centers for Environmental Information
Email: Ellen.L.Mecray@noaa.gov

Prepared By

Sylvia Reeves
NOAA/National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS)

Samantha Borisoff, Jessica Spaccio, Keith Eggleston, Art DeGaetano
Northeast Regional Climate Center

Ellen Mecray
Regional Climate Services Director, Eastern Region, NOAA

David Hollinger and Maria Janowiak
USDA Climate Hubs

Gardner Bent
USGS/New England Water Science Center

In partnership with National Weather Service Offices of the Northeast and State Climate Offices of the Northeast. 

Special Thanks

This drought early warning update is issued in partnership between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Geological Survey, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to communicate concern for drought expansion and intensification within the Northeast U.S. based on recent conditions and the forecasts and outlooks. NIDIS and its partners will issue future drought early warning updates as conditions evolve.